I would just like to apologize beforehand. Sometimes I write really well, at least I think so, and sometimes I write really poorly. Today is one of those days where I find myself doing the latter. If you loathe unrealized reviews and synopses that seem to meander without ever really telling you anything READ NO FURTHER! Today is just one of those days.
But it was a great day for comics and not only did I spend a paltry $30.91 on comics but most of them were awesome and a few really surprised me. Sure some were subpar, but as a whole my #Newcomics were great. So what did I get?
The Incredible Hulks #625
I think that Dale Eaglesham has it in him to draw a great Hulk book, but he needs to really fine tune his pencils. Some panels that rely heavily on a sense of movement have characters hanging in the air instead of careening to the ground ready to smash. The movement lines are there but the bodies don’t convey any motion.
That being said I like Eaglesham’s Hulk anatomy and the page where the Green Goliath rides into battle wearing the carapaces of Miek’s insect minions, looking like some savage insectoid samurai, was simply stunning. Unfortunately even in such a great page the awesomeness of the Hulk is downplayed by the more eye-catching red tendrils of the creepy worm beast he’s riding.
Also for whatever reason the facial anatomy of the Hulk is a bit too perfect in a few panels and he just looks creepy. I wasn’t too impressed with this little story line. I don’t know if it’s because I don’t really enjoy the remnants of Planet Sakaar or what but I’m looking forward to Hulk going toe to toe with Betty in the next issue. The cover looks amazing!
Age of X Universe #1
Alright, so none of the characters included in this Age of X offshoot have any personality besides the Hulk and Sue Storm, something I hope the next issue will hit us with when they’re in the thick of battle with the muties.
The leader of this band of Avengers and the narrator, Captain America, or whoever he might be, comes off about as appealing as cardboard while tormented souls like Banner grab the spotlight. What this tale does well though is set a stage for the Age of X arc, revealing a little more of the world that Magneto and his fellow mutants are fighting in. That was great but Mr. Spurrier, why did you have to beat down two of my favorite mutants, Maggot and Marrow? Is this some sort of personal vendetta? What did I ever do to you?
After seeing what Khoi Pham did on The Incredible Hercules and Chaos War the work he’s done here is unacceptable. Maybe he was burnt out from doing such an awesome job on those titles that he didn’t have enough for this book. Maybe he just wasn’t feeling inspired, but whatever the case he can do better. I’ve seen it. HOWEVER he did end up drawing one of the straight up creepiest Sabretooths I’ve ever seen. Honestly, Creed’s a train wreck. I couldn’t look away.
The Spider-Man tale was a little better, if shorter, simply because it worked with what we already know about the character, didn’t try to throw us any curveballs, and added to our knowledge of the Age of X universe.
I will say one thing, John Romita Jr. knows how to pull off epic. Each page in this issue is it’s own spread, harkening back to such earth-shattering events as Superman’s fatal clash with Doomsday way back when. It adds a gravitas that’s enhanced by Uatu’s solemn monologue. What’s most important? It doesn’t feel like a gimmick. While I didn’t like Bendis’ first Avengers arc I’m really digging this one.
There have been some depressing Cyclops tales churned out by Marvel in the past but this one-shot, by Lee Black and Dean Haspiel, shrugs off the shackles that burdened its sad predecessors and gets one thing very right: fun. It’s such a simple word, so small and unassuming, but it’s just what Cyclops needs and just what Black and Haspiel deliver.
Black reminds us that Cyclops was a kid once, but even then he was a wet blanket, and that’s half the fun here. With beautiful colors by Jose Villarubia, Cyclops is thrust into a vibrant world of capes and clowns as he does battle with the Circus of Crime. Of course he’s got Sun Tzu’s The Art of War with him (When doesn’t he?) but the ancient war text snippets add a bit of misplaced seriousness to the levity on the page that meshes well with Haspiel’s pencils and the light-hearted tone of the issue.
The fights with the Circus are well realized and I caught myself smirking at some of the details, like the Clown passing a little glass after Cyclops blasts him with his crimson force beam. Dean Haspiel does a wonderful job keeping the art uncluttered, focusing on details when necessary, but giving Villarubia enough space to ply his wonderful color magic to his pencils. If you’re on the fence as to whether or not you want to purchase this book, just get it, you’ll be glad you did.
Proof: Endangered #4
I’ve gotta say that Proof surprised me this week. It was a decent issue, and brings quite a few things to a head to be resolved next month, but I’m wondering what hold Death has over Grecian and Rossmo’s characters? Someone dies here, maybe, but I won’t ruin the surprise.
What I really wanted to talk about is the two character biographies at the back of the book. Colonel Dachshund and Mi-Chen-Po are spotlighted and I’ve gotta say I’m a sucker for that sort of stuff.
When an author and artist go out of their way to expand the backstory of their universe… it just makes me happy. I love to know how much thought goes into the characters and world their characters live in and with so many great personalities waiting to be fleshed out in Proof this is a big step in the right direction. Keep it up guys!
I also picked up Scalped #47, Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #8, Black Panther The Man Without Fear #516, and Ultimate X #4. Of those I really enjoyed Scalped, some of Guy Gardner’s lantern constructs in Emerald Warriors were awesome to behold, Black Panther needs to get his shit together and take down Vlad, and Ultimate X needs to come out more regularly because I like Blob’s son. For some reason, after only being in one issue, he’s the character I like most.